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Monday, March 31, 2014

Barry-Roubaix Race Report


Two weekends ago I made the trip north to the tiny town of Hastings, MI to take part in what is called America's largest gravel road race, Barry-Roubaix.  Here's a report I originally wrote for the Ohio Gravel Grinders Facebook group.



Support Minimum Passing Distance for Cyclists in Ohio

Over the weekend I contacted the members of the Transportation, Public Safety, and Homeland Security Committee regarding the removal of language requiring a minimum 3-foot passing for bicycles from HB 145. This morning I received a response from the chair of the committee's office (Rep. Damschroeder), and they indicated that the legislation's sponsor, Rep. Henne, may be interested in having constituents testify on behalf of the legislation. If anyone would like to do similarly, here are the e-mail addresses of the members of the committee and Rep. Henne.
rep88@ohiohouse.gov, Rep. Damschroder
rep68@ohiohouse.gov, Rep. Ruhl
rep32@ohiohouse.gov, Rep. Mallory
rep65@ohiohouse.gov, Rep. Becker
rep15@ohiohouse.gov, Rep. Celebrezze
rep36@ohiohouse.gov, Rep. DeVitis
rep66@ohiohouse.gov, Rep. Green
rep58@ohiohouse.gov, Rep. Hagan
rep90@ohiohouse.gov, Rep. Johnson
rep79@ohiohouse.gov, Rep. McGregor
rep35@ohiohouse.gov, Rep. Milkovich
rep10@ohiohouse.gov, Rep. Patmon
rep73@ohiohouse.gov, Rep. Perales
rep40@ohiohouse.gov, Rep. Henne
The e-mail I sent follows if anyone would like a template, however it is always a good idea when contacting legislators to make your message personal and different from others they may have received. If you do contact the legislators, make sure you include your FULL name (as it appears on voting records) and at least your full address. This allows the legislators to know that you are an actual constituent and not an out-of-state special interest. Including your phone number is also a good indication to their office that you are serious about your concern.

To the members of the Transportation, Public Safety, and Homeland Security committee,
I am writing to express my extreme disappointment in the removal of language requiring a safe passing distance for bicycles from HB 145. As reported by WCMH (http://www.nbc4i.com/story/25060438/bike-passing-legislation-to-be-withdrawn), the language was removed as a result of opponent testimony, however I have been unable to find any indication on the General Assembly's websites that this bill received testimony before the committee at all. I hope that this is only a matter of delay in posting the record of the testimony.
However, I am also completely stymied as to why this common sense legislation would be opposed at all. 22 states and the District of Columbia have all passed similar legislation, and as an experienced cyclist I can attest to the need for this legislation. Just yesterday I was buzzed by a vehicle well within 3 feet of me; and sadly another experienced cyclist, Joe Giampapa, just lost his life this past weekend as a result of a vehicle attempting to pass him too closely. There is no question in my mind that this legislation serves an immediate need.
As a cyclist, I am looking for the State to uphold my rights as a slow-moving vehicle on the road, and make a statement to motorists across Ohio that cyclists should be treated with caution and respect on the road. This simple legislation could have easily sent the message to motorists that as the operators of 3000 pounds of metal, they have an obligation to take care of a human life that is a fraction of their size. This will also give law enforcement officials an additional tool to address unsafe behaviors on the road, particularly as they put human lives in danger.
Before the end of this legislative session I beg you to reconsider this decision and send a clear message to motorists across the state that a human life is more important than having to wait to pass a cyclists at a safe distance.
Thank you for your consideration.

Undercover stings target drivers endangering bicyclists | KHOU

HOUSTON -- Next time you drive past a bicyclist on the streets of Houston, mind your manners. The bike rider just might be an undercover cop.
Houston police have adopted an unorthodox enforcement tactic, deploying plainclothes officers pedaling along streets to catch drivers disobeying a bicycle safety ordinance.
“What that simply means is that there are officers out there on bicycles, dressed as normal citizens, who are just riding around town,” says Mark Eisenman, an HPD assistant chief.
The enforcement effort that started three weeks ago focuses mainly on Houston’s Safe Passing Ordinance, which dictates that drivers should stay at least three feet away from bicyclists they pass on city streets. It also calls for cars and trucks to stay at least six feet behind bicycles they’re following.
Police say they’ve had problems enforcing the ordinance, mainly because it’s difficult for a patrol officer in a passing car to quickly determine whether a driver veers closer than the prescribed three feet.

INTERACTIVE: A MONTH OF CITI BIKE | New Yorker

It’s been a long slog for New York City’s bike-share program. Citi Bike, named for its primary sponsor, Citibank, was first announced by the Department of Transportation in 2010, and, at that time, it was expected to be up and running by the spring of 2012. The launch was delayed by software problems and by Hurricane Sandy, but, two months ago, docking stations finally began appearing around Manhattan and Brooklyn. On Memorial Day, the bikes rolled out, offering rides to and from hundreds of locations.
We examined how the first few weeks of the program fared by tracking when the bikes appeared at different docks. After a Citi Bike is unlocked (through a code or a key), it can be used for up to forty-five minutes before it must be redocked. Using live data provided by the Citi Bike Web site, it’s possible to see how many bikes are checked into each station at any particular moment. Other Citi Bike-trackers have used this data to developinsightful live views of the program, or to follow it closely for a single day. We chose to take a long look, grabbing information at fifteen-minute intervals each day for a month, from June 8th through July 8th.

Velocity Clothes Hangers

Retired, recycled, or rejected rims find new life.  
  • Heavy duty enough to support your overalls or your TT skinsuit.
  • Compliments the finest designer closet, or the classiest home workshop. 
  • Available individually or as a pack of four.

Specs

Most hangers are made from one quarter of a 700c Deep V rim, two 260mm stainless steel spokes, two brass spoke nipples, and a little bit of good old fashioned American ingenuity.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Detroit Bike City 2014 & Beyond Recap @detroitbikecity

We had 12 for our group. Four took bikes even thought the weather forecast said wintry mix. Of course there was no rain or snow in Detroit so the rest of us were kinda bummed we didn't bring bikes.

As we entered Detroit we stopped at Los Galanes in Mexicantown for breakfast. The food is always great there. The Detroit Bike City show has expanded each year we have attended and this year was even better. There is a great mix of local bike shops, builders, advocacy and event booths, plus demo areas for bmx, kids, electric bikes and a swap meet. Some of us picked up equipment while others marveled at cool tech and bike porn. The show was well attended but not over crowded.

Afterwards we headed to Atwater Brewery for a beer. Atwater is always a great place to hang out. We headed toward 8 mile to see The Thunderdrome and Craig ran around the track while we cheered him on. For dinner we headed downtown to Grand Trunk. Before leaving Detroit we swung by Belle Isle and The Heidelberg Project.

[Detroit Bike City]

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dean Touring Bike

Trans-Alp Adventure Tour...... the ultimate do everything and take anywhere bike !!!  Run every wheel platform possible - 29", 27.5", 26" or 700c.  Build'r up as a mountain, cross or road it's your choice.  We've suspension correct the geometry to allow for the use of both rigid and suspended fork options.  Modular sliding dropouts allow for the use of single or multi gears.  Want to run a Rohloff internal geared hub..... no problem. The dropouts are designed for that too.   Want to travel.... just upgrade to S&S couplers and you're ready to vacation.  Designed to run fully loaded with your favorite set of paniers.  Plan on running into some wet weather on your travel.... no problem as the Trans-Alps comes set up to run both front and back fenders.  We build each Trans-Alp with custom geometry specifically designed for you and your riding preferences.  Utilizing a custom blend of only finest 3/2.5 vr titanium that is cold worked and stress relieved so the Trans-Alp is built to last. Sleek seat and chainstays bends allow for extra tire clearance if you're going to hit a lot of dirt.  Lots of custom options available on this rig .... just give us your wish list and we'll make it happen.  Each frame is crafted to perfection at our facility in Boulder, CO.


Door Zone Avoidance

Friday, March 28, 2014

Scioto Greenways Detour change as of March 31 @ColsRecPark

Due to construction on Liberty St. the southbound detour for Scioto Trail will now follow Fulton St and make a right onto Front St.  This is a minor change and will be signed accordingly.  This will be effective Monday March 31. 


Cycling in Eastern Oregon

Mountain Biking Big Bend Ranch State Park - Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official]

Field Tested: 2014 Salsa Fargo Ti | Expedition Portal @expoportal

A couple years ago, perhaps suffering from a severe case of bikepack fever, I purchased a Salsa Fargo frame to serve as a project bike for Expedition Portal. It turned out to be one of the more enjoyable bicycles I have ever had the pleasure to ride. What I thought would only be a novel diversion from real bicycles evolved into a deep love of the Fargo with its seemingly endless possibilities. As winter arrived, my steel Fargo was replaced with Salsa’s new flagship model, the 2014 Fargo Ti.
Building on the success of their previous titanium Fargo, Salsa set out to relaunch the model with a handful of significant refinements. Most noteworthy is the redesign of the fork, now called the Firestarter. Constructed of carbon fiber with a sculpted shape worthy of wolf whistles, it is the one update to the Fargo which I feel has made the most noticeable difference to the ride quality. The new fork features 15mm thru-axle dropouts, a full carbon steerer, and to the applause of every adventure rider, Anything Cage mounts now positioned on the forward aspect of the fork blades. That latter refinement is a smart evolution of the Anything Cage as it moves them out of harm’s way should they, or the bag they contain, inadvertently contact the rotating wheel. The new frame and fork combo is also now corrected for a 100mm suspension fork for those wanting to push the Fargo into more technical turf.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

2014 Gravel Rouser Classic Recap | Athens Bicycle

2014 Gravel Rouser Classic: The Good, the Great and the Awesome

People must have been bursting at the seams to ride a bike after the long winter, because a whole bunch of them showed up at the 11th edition of the Gravel Rouser. We had record attendance for the 2014 Gravel Rouser Classic.
Thursday Night Moto Enduro
Way before the current trend of mountain bike enduros, there was (and still is) the format of motorcycle enduro, which requires you to maintain assigned average speeds across different sections of a mixed road/off-road course, with known and secret time checks along the way. This type of race doesn't necessarily mean that the fastest person will win, as it requires a little more thought and strategy. SE Ohio has long been a hotbed for motorcycle enduro racing, so we bucked the trend on Thursday night at Strouds Run State Park with a moto style enduro. Handlebar cue sheets led riders through the woods, where three secret checkpoints kept track of who was on time and who wasn't. One of the fastest men out there, Eric Hamann, kept his speed in check, coming in with a perfect score and starting his Gravel Rouser out on top of a podium. He was followed by Matt Fratczak in second place and Jeff "Well I'd rather get there too fast than too slow!" McAdoo in third. We are grateful to Jim Miller for helping us put this fun event together.

CHRISCROSS


CHRISCROSS from chris akrigg on Vimeo.

Takaokami Rain Dress

Takaokami is rainwear for the city, for urban lovers living and biking the metropoles. 
Finally, after 5 years of hard work our first collection is being released - order a piece of fashionable, danish rainwear before your neighbor.

Rainwear that makes you look stunningly feminine in a both classic and very new fashionable way, allowing for a graceful walk in the rain.
One size

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Candlelight Vigil for Joseph Giampapa

There will be a candlelight vigil for Joseph Giampapa starting at 5:00 pm Thursday at the SE corner of Broad and High.

The purpose of the vigil will be to 1) honor a cyclist whose life was tragically cut short by a negligent motorist, 2) to peacefully demonstrate the need for increased motorist awareness of cyclists as well as the need for more and better bike lanes/paths and 3) to provide an open casual forum for bicyclists to gather and discuss issues related to bike safety.

For those wishing ride with a group, meet at Franklinton Cycle Works, 897 W Broad St, at 4:30 PM. This vigil is organized by The non violent political wing of the local Bicyclists Rights Organization (BRO). (Vigil will be up for several hours, come by when you can)

Evolution of the Bicycle


Evolution of the Bicycle from Visual Artwork on Vimeo.

Columbus Rides Bikes is heading to Detroit Bike City this weekend. @detroitbikecity #letsride


Sacred Yak


Sacred Yak from The Republic of Doom on Vimeo.
A four day human powered loop. Including a desert tower first ascent.
Windy as shit, but still bad ass!
Important, please read!!!!! Alpacka Raft is NOT, making a camo boat. Repeat, Alpacka Raft is NOT making a camo boat. I'm just testing some fabric.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tell US DOT: Bicyclists' Safety Counts

There is only one acceptable number: 0.

While cities like New York and San Francisco have set decisive "Vision Zero" targets to dramatically reduce bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities, the U.S. Department of Transportation has just released proposed safety measures that have no goal, no accountability and no attempt to reduce the 16% of all fatal crashes that include people who walk and bike.

Your comments count: Tell US DOT that we can't turn a blind eye to the 45,000 bicyclists injured and 5,000 cyclists and pedestrians killed on our roadways each year - we must have a national goal to make biking and walking a safe transportation option.

In 2012, Congress asked the US DOT to set national goals to guide federal, state and local investments in our transportation system. After meeting with USDOT and FHWA officials, we knew they were unlikely to include a specific non-motorized performance measure - or goal to reduce bike/ped deaths. Unfortunately, on March 11 we were proved right: FHWA issued a "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" that acknowledged our request - but chose not to include one.

Now, they're asking for comments - and they need to hear from you. Please endorse the League's comments or submit your own.

Our analysis: The overall safety performance measure lacks vision, accountability, and urgency. There is NO actual target set for reducing the number of people killed on our roads. States are asked to make "significant progress" towards two of four proposed measures, with a margin of error that could see fatality and injury numbers actually increase.

At a time when many local agencies are adopting a "Vision Zero" traffic safety target, and as bicycle and pedestrian fatalities are increasing as a percentage of overall traffic fatalities, we believe FHWA's proposal is grossly inadequate - and sets a troubling precedent for subsequent national performance management measures on congestion and pavement condition.

We can't allow our national safety standards to have Zero Vision - please send your comments on the safety performance measure to US DOT today.


Click the link below to log in and send your message:
https://www.votervoice.net/link/target/bikeleague/MPRRFKKEr.aspx

Uina - Bernina - A Mountain Bike Trip


"We didn't hesitate for a second, when we were invited to ride from the famous Uina gorge to the high mountains of Bernina pass. It's a 4 day trip through some breathtaking landscapes and across the borders of three languages and two countries. But see for yourself..."

A Fatter Fatbike? Enter The Rungu Fat-trike



There are two models of the Rungu available. The above "Juggernaut" has three  26 x 4.7" tires, weighs in at 55.8 lbs, starting at $2,500.


The "Kilimanjaro" (above) has a 26 x 4.7" fat tire in the back, and  two 29 x 2.5" tires in the front, with two 100-mm Rockshox forks. They claim it has better cornering performance on the road, than Its fatter brother, the Juggernaut.  It weighs 53.8 lbs, and starts at $2,600.
From the the Rungu website:
A platform for adventure, Rungu Trikes offer mobility and stability where a bike can’t go and a car won’t go.
  • Three wheels – two wheels in front for stability
  • Low gearing for difficult terrain
  • Mounting points for e-bike kits and overhead racks
  • Fat tire in back for traction and control in sand and snow
  • Shoulder width front-wheel spacing to improve tricycle handling
Make new tracks. Ride Rungu.

The Kilimanjaro's steering system



[ Go to to riderungu.com to order yours ]

Make Mario and Luigi Proud! - PVC Bike Cart | Instructables




This is fashioned after the bamboo bike trailer, with the addition of a seatpost mount and PVC instead of bamboo. I used the instruction for the wheel mounts, something I need to modify in the future to accomodate heavier loads to relieve axel flex. The PVC is 1" and the trailer bed is 12" wire shelving left over from a home remodel. The wheels are 20" front wheels with bolt-on axel. These are about $24 a piece unless you run a bike shop..hint,hint. The seatpost mount is made by TRAIL-GATOR.com and sells for around $15. My total investment was around $60 for this brand new trailer.

I left the bed flat to acccomodate various uses. We have mounted our dog crate, two plastic crates for groceries, and an athletic bag so far. Maximum load weight tested so far around 50 lbs. The trailer itself is very lightweight.

[See how to do it on instructables.com ]

Monday, March 24, 2014

Grizzly Bear Charges Mountain Bikers

Bicycle Anatomy For Beginners

Cycling Facts | Cycling Info

cycling
The iconic Penny Farthing.
When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the human race.”
- H.G. Wells.

When Was the Bike Invented?

1817 – The Running Machine. Invented by German Baron Karl von Drais, this had no pedals no chains, but two wheels. It was propelled by pushing feet on ground. It was sometimes known as human horse. It was largely a form of entertainment for aristocratic families with their own estate.

The Running Machine. Photo by Gun Powder Ma wikipedia
The Velocipede – 1860s. In the early 1860s, two Frenchmen Pierre Michaux and Pierre Lallement put pedals on the front wheel and introduced the velocipede, which looks more like our modern bicycle. It had no chain and was very uncomfortable due to wooden wheels. This helped the spread of the bicycle.
velocipede
The Velocipede.
The Penny Farthing. A development of the Velocipede, this was faster due to the larger diameter of the front wheel. But, considered dangerous because of height. Nevertheless the first cycle races were on these high machines.

1885. The Safety Bike.
 It was around the 1880s, that the first safety bikes appeared. These are considered the first real bicycles. With their standard two triangle frames, pedals and chain, the basic design has remained unchanged. Starley’s 1885 Rover is considered the first real bicycle model.
The Pneumatic Tyre. In 1888, Scotsman John Dunlop invented the first practical pneumatic tyre, which created a much more enjoyable and comfortable ride. The bicycle was ready for mass participation.

Developments of Bikes Which Later Appeared in Motor Cars

  • Pneumatic Tyres
  • Precision ball bearings
  • Tension-spoked wheels
  • chain-drive, (3)

Motor Engineers Who Started off producing bicycles

  • Henry Ford, Wright Brothers. Dunlop tyres, The Rover Cycle Company, Morris Motor Company.
cycling
[ Read the rest of the story at cyclinginfo.co.uk ]

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Are you a smug cyclist or a complete amateur? | The Independent



Take our cycling quiz to find out...




You'd like do some more fine-tuning on your bike but…
(a) You pose an immediate threat with a spanner within five yards of you, so instead you promptly and correctly take the bike to your nearest workshop.
(b) The oil stains from last time didn't come out of the dining-room carpet quite as well as you promised your partner they would.
(c) You're too busy updating Facebook with pictures of your new mountain bike and the words "Dialling in my epiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiic new ride. Boom."

Your car is…
(a) A five-year-old Ford Focus. Why?
(b) Worth less than my bike.
(c) History. See you at the Critical Mass ride?

An elderly driver very nearly pulls out right in front of you…
(a) You swerve, and feel a bit shaky at the next lights – the poor geezer looked as terrified as you.
(b) You stop, swear loudly and shake your head in a way that you just know shames the driver and every road user within half-a-mile.
(c) You high-five yourself that you turned on your helmet-cam before setting off. That old git's face is gonna be all over the web once you get this clip up on Twitter.

[Take the rest of the quiz at independent.co.uk ]

Downhill and Freeride Tribute 2014 Vol.2

IS CITI BIKE IN TROUBLE?

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL REPORTS THAT THE BIKE-SHARE INITIATIVE IS IN FINANCIAL TROUBLE. BUT...

Citi Bike, New York City's bike share program, has been an enormous hit with pedal-pushing Manhattanites and Leonardo DiCaprio. But it might be in trouble. The Wall Street Journalreports today that the transportation initiative's leaders "are moving quickly to raise tens of millions of dollars to rescue the popular bike-share program as it loses money, according to people familiar with the matter." Per the report, Citi Bike's financial troubles are threefold:
  1. People do not ride bikes during the winter.
  2. Tourists aren't using it.
  3. Infrastructure maintenance--i.e., moving bikes between stations--has been expensive.


The first point was to be expected; who wants to ride in the snow? Here's a chart to put the winter usage decline into perspective. 

What wasn't expected, however, was how popular the program would be with annual members. Some 99,000 New Yorkers pay $95 for unlimited access to the bikes in 45 minute intervals...
Read more at FastCompany

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Why cyclists and drivers hate each other so much | WAtoday


'Dooring' incidents highlight the urgent need for better road rule education for all.


REGRET OVER DOORING AND IGNORING CYCLIST

Brighton man Jeff Hunter has come forward to say he regrets his behaviour after opening a taxi door on a cyclist and failing to exchange details.
In the last week I have watched two videos shared on social media of cyclists involved in accidents. The first was from Queensland, it shows a car tail-gating a cyclist and then ploughing them down. The second is from here in Melbourne and offers a helmet-cam view of a woman being "doored" by a man getting out of a taxi; the man then refuses to hand over his details. Both videos quickly made it onto news websites, where the comments section rapidly filled with cyclist outrage and the predictable tit for tat between cyclists and that segment of car drivers and pedestrians who seem to despise cyclists.

The comments section of these articles is pretty typical of any article involving cyclists these days, and seems to be a microcosm of the ever-nastier relationship between many cyclists and drivers. But what really struck me as I read the comments was how many drivers are ignorant of the laws as they pertain to cyclists. For example, many of the commenters didn't appear to know that cyclists have the right to take up a full lane – as the Queensland cyclist was doing before he was run down – or that it is perfectly legal for a cyclist to pass on the left (as long as the car is not indicating left). Equally, the number of passengers who get out of cars in traffic and "door" cyclists on their left is a clear demonstration that they don't realise it is illegal (as is boorishly illustrated by the "gentleman" in the second video).

To me, this makes one thing clear: there needs to be much greater education around cyclists so that people understand the basic road rules. At present there seems to be an ever-growing antipathy between cyclists and drivers, and before it gets too out of control it needs to be contained. If not, it will only amplify as growing traffic problems drive more people onto bikes, and the worsening traffic means evermore frustrated drivers. If drivers understand the road rules, then perhaps it will abate some of the anger they feel when they see cyclists doing things that they perceive as illegal. It will also save lives, because at present many drivers do not see cyclists as their equals on the road, merely as impediments.

[ Read more,  and watch the video on watoday.com.au ]

Get Your ex:ride BROMPTON | zotaku



Many cyclists end up owning several bikes. Running out of room? Well, start collecting bicycle models! 

"The Figma blog has been updated with preview images of the ex:ride Brompton you can expect when you purchase the October issue of Hobby Japan magazine. Comes in red and all you have to do is to assemble bike yourself! The bike is foldable, just like a real one!"



[ See it all on zotaku.com ] 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Peugeot B1K Bicycle Concept | thecoolist



Since its invention, the bicycle really hasn’t changed much.  Its basic components remain the same– a pair of wheels, a crank-driven drivetrain, a frame, a seat and some handlebars.  The components themselves have evolved, but the basic song has gone unchanged.  The design team at Peugeot Bikes, however, have created a bike concept so alien to our eyes that change may be on the horizion.  The Peugeot B1K Bicycle Concept takes on the traditional bike format by adding a chain-free drivetrain, removing the down tube and giving it a fierce new design that is as progressive as they come.



[ Read more on thecoolist.com ]

A closer look at Oregon's plans for a 'bike pod' network | Bike Portland

A mockup of one of 12 "Deluxe Overnight Bike Pods" Oregon State Parks wants to build across the state.
Looking to take bicycle tourism to the next level — and to solidify the direct connection between bicycling and economic development — Oregon State Parks wants to create a network of covered bike facilities they say will "redefine the cycling experience." The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) call these facilities "bike pods" and "bike hubs" and if all goes according to plan there will eventually be 19 of them throughout the state, with the first one set for construction this summer.

We first reported on the "Bike Pods of Oregon" project a few weeks ago after OPRD submitted a grant application to ODOT's Connect Oregon program. OPRD is hoping to secure $348,000 from the lottery-backed funding program (the pods project will cost a total of $435,000).

Fat fine | Missoula Independent

Back in late January, Bozeman cyclists Bill Martin and Mo Mislivets rolled up to the trailhead leading to the Gallatin National Forest’s Yellow Mule Cabin a few miles south of Big Sky. It was a “beautiful, bluebird day,” Mislivets recalls, and the duo had left their travel options open, stocking the car with both cross country skis and their fat bikes—a bulkier breed of mountain bike with thick tires catered specially for pedaling through snow. The area hadn’t seen fresh snow for several days, leaving the trail up Buck Creek Ridge toward the cabin well-packed by snowmobile traffic.
UF-FatBike_courtesy_Bill_Martin_.jpg
  • COURTESY BILL MARTIN
Martin and Mislivets had been to plenty of U.S. Forest Service cabins, but both Yellow Mule and the Buck Ridge area were new to them. After a quick review of the signs highlighting permitted recreation, they opted to ride the fat bikes in. “Unfortunately,” Martin says, “we chose the wrong weapon of choice.”
Halfway to the cabin, which they’d rented for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend, two Forest Service employees on snowmobiles pulled up to Martin. The first seemed genuinely excited to see a fat bike, Martin recalls, and wanted to check it out. But it was the second ranger’s response that sent Martin into shock.

Across America on two-wheels | philly.com

Bruce Weber claims that traveling by bicycle isn't "the contemplative, mind-meandering activity that it is generally presumed to be."
And the New York Times writer, whose Life Is a Wheel chronicles his 79-day, 4,122-mile pedal from Astoria, Ore., back to his apartment in Lower Manhattan, has a point: riding 50, 60, 70 miles a day, sometimes on busy blacktops with tractor trailers rocketing alongside, on county roads that suddenly dissolve to gravel, through endless prairies wondering if you're going to a find a place to eat, or sleep, the concerns are more immediate, practical, particular.
But when Weber pulls into a motel for the night, wrings out his sweat-soaked cycling duds and pulls out his iPad, the bigger ruminations start coming. 

[Keep reading at philly.com]

$1,000 Bike Helmet Looks Like Cornrows On Steroids


Cornrows? Brains? Multiplying challah bread? Whatever the inspiration, this new helmet by Berlin-based design duo Bless is definitely more intriguing than the usual ugly plastic headgear. The so-called Bless Helmdo will protect your head with what the brand's website calls “fluffy lightweight nylon head braiding." As virtually all helmets are kind of embarrassing-looking, you might as well embrace that fact and wear one that makes you look vaguely like that chick from Alien Vs. Predator--that is, if you're willing to fork over $1,069, the pricetag on this weird little accessory.









The Bless Helmdo is available at Creatures of Comfort here.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

How to Make a Mountain Bike Film | Filme von Draussen




Vuact Action Capture | Kickstarter



Vuact Action Capture records video and sensor data and puts the data on the video timeline. You get insight into your performance.
How it all came about...
(Story from Kalle, Vuact's co-founder) A while ago on a bike ride, we stopped to eat some blueberries (yes, while mountain biking). It was a hot sunny day, the moss blanket was comfy and there were plenty of berries under the leaves. We sat for a while, and I half acknowledged a few wasps around us. Then a few more. And more. Until we suddenly realized we were sitting on a wasp nest. Instantly, panic took over both us and the wasps. We were running like mad with the yellow jackets stinging us left and right. When we finally stopped a good five hundred yards later, there were still a number of them hanging on our clothes.
Makes a good story but it would have been even better if it had been captured on video. Not that all of the mountain biking trips are always that eventful but you just can't recreate the crazy afterwards. And you typically don't want to go over hours of video just to find those exhilarating moments.
Meanwhile, we had already been working with video for years before we founded Vuact, a startup aimed to change video viewing experience with audience insights. "Great idea", everybody said but the only problem was the big video producers didn't really care about audience insights. "If only we could gather the data automatically", Mikko was pondering. It hit us then – what would be really valuable and fresh would be combining YOUR video and YOUR data for YOU to watch.

[ Read more at kickstarter.com ]

Battleaxe mountain bike features two chains, but very little chain slap | Gizmag



Of all the things that cause wear, tear and noise on a mountain bike, chain slap is certainly one of the most annoying. As its name implies, it occurs when rough terrain causes the chain to be flung up and down, slapping against the chainstay as it does so. While there are things that can be done to minimize it, California-based Cycle Monkey has taken a unique approach – the company has helped to design the one-of-a-kind Battleaxe mountain bike, that features a unique chain slap-unfriendly drive train.
Chain slap can occur on any type of mountain bike, but it's particularly common on full-suspension models. Putting it simply, this is because the swingarm moves up and down relative to the rest of the frame. The cassette moves with that swingarm, taking the back end of the chain up and down with it. The front end of the chain, however, remains in place, joined to the rest of the frame by the chainring. As a result, the chain doesn't always remain parallel to the chainstay, and the two can come into contact.


Working with Idaho's Oxide Cycles, Cycle Monkey developed a two-chain drive train that addresses the problem. One short chain runs from the frame-mounted chainring to a swingarm-mounted gear, then the other longer chain runs from that gear to the rear wheel.

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